“Scaryville” is how designer Mat Sanders describes what his West Hollywood kitchen used to look like. The cabinets were ’70s brown; there were flimsy shelves going across the windows; and the countertops were covered in tiles. Sanders, a pro at changing up rooms and vignettes on a dime, wanted to add the element of customization without spending a small fortune, so he used splashes of paint in strategic places, invested in the details, and prioritized function. Here are five easy updates we learned from the night-and-day makeover.
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Save on Floors With Marmoleum Tiles
His favorite secret: durable, nontoxic, $3-per-square-foot tiles. Keep it classic by opting for two gray tones and arranging them in a diagonal checkered pattern.
Trick the Eye With a Painted Ceiling Line
If you have prefab cabinets that are short, paint the ceiling (and the bit of the wall just above the cupboards). Sanders used Farrow & Ball‘s Card Room Green in his space to help create the illusion that storage does in fact extend all the way up. No guest will ever be the wiser.
Convert Recessed Lighting Into Pendant Lighting
For added intimacy, Sanders mounted French pendant lamps from Amsterdam Modern where there used to just be recessed cans. While you can buy a converter kit at most hardware stores, play it safe and call an electrician to make the switch.
Utilize Wall Space for Beautiful Function
The designer was able to proudly display his extensive cutting board collection by mounting a stained piece of baseboard molding to the wall and then drilling brass hooks into the wood.
Splurge on Hardware and Accessories
“Design is in the details,” says Sanders. Specifically it’s in vintage mirrors, oil paintings, countertop accessories, and luxe hardware. The result is, as he puts it, chic.
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